Meghan Carey, Education Intern
I recently read a study conducted by the University of Michigan that analyzed empathy in college students. The results were quite startling to say the very least, concluding that today’s college students are approximately forty percent lower in empathy than their counterparts of twenty and thirty years ago. Our country’s youngest citizens are growing up in a period of unprecedented access to information, where violence and bullying run rampant in the media and in our collective minds.
Empathy and Success
Fostering empathy in children at early ages has the potential to set them up for both personal and professional success in life. Empathizing with other people leads to well-developed interpersonal skills, which encompasses problem-solving, decision-making, conflict management, and active listening. In the workplace, empathetic people possess heightened customer service skills and know how to motivate their colleagues. More so than anything else, however, is the ability to see points of view other than their own. In school, this trait allows children and young adults to hear differing stances which help formulate individual opinions. In the workplace, seeing other points of view opens the door to new ideas and collaboration, and we know that when people come together, truly impactful things can happen.
Empathy and Frameworks
It’s easier than ever to assess a problem or see the shortcomings throughout society with all of our data and new modes of informing ourselves, but it amounts to little if we aren’t willing to implement new techniques from the ground up, which is precisely the approach Frameworks takes. Frameworks teaches critical social and emotional skills to students at a time when they are most impressionable. It is apparent that education should include the “whole” child, with a focus on both academia and social-emotional learning, making these kinds of programs of the utmost importance.